Dave Carter has lived at Daffodil Close in Helmshore for 35 years and says he has been waiting since then for the street surface to be brought up to a decent standard.
He says the stalemate is currently a patchwork of repair jobs that hardly last at all.
“One of the first things I said when we moved here was, ‘I hope this road will be fixed soon’ – but I’m still waiting.
“They come and put drops of tar in the potholes, a couple at a time – and usually when it rains. In a few days, everything starts to fall apart again, especially in winter when frost and ice penetrate.
“There are a hundred faults, so it would be 50 visits they should make at the current rate.
“It’s like we’ve been forgotten, because we’re a side road – basically we empty the trash and that’s it,” Carter said.
So when he was visited by the trio of candidates running for County Hall in Rossendale West Division on Thursday, he told them his vote would be determined by who he thought would give him the smoothest route. he was looking for. for decades. He just wants to know for sure who it would be.
“The problem, of course, is that the person has to be elected before they can do the job – it’s not like they can fix the problem first and then we can elect them because they have. did what she promised.
“They all told me they would make it a top priority and I said, ‘Well, I’ll vote for you, then’. But two of them also warned that things are tight with the money – I appreciate that, but when you look at the work being done elsewhere, it’s like we’ve been overlooked, ”Carter said.
Lancashire County Council recently revealed the nearly 200 resurfacing and surfacing projects it has planned for the coming year (see here and here) – but Daffodil Close was not one of them.
Planned works total over £ 18million across all road classifications, plus a £ 3million ‘localized deterioration’ fund to correct issues too big to be treated like a pothole but too much small to deserve a full resurfacing plan.
Allocations from the latter pot will be prioritized based on criteria such as the number of faults, complaints received about them, and the number of repeat visits required to correct individual issues. The strategic importance of the route will also be taken into account.
David Stansfield, the current county councilor for the area, was a member of the ruling Conservative group for most of the eight years he served in County Hall. However, he was suspended from the group earlier this year after voting against a housing tax increase in the party’s budget. He is now running for re-election as an independent candidate.
“I’ve tried and tried to get this road fixed and all I’ve had for about two years is, ‘We’re going to put it on the list’. Whether or not I am elected this week, I will continue to fight for it – I have promised these residents that I will stay with them and I will.
“If I was elected independent and wanted something to be done, [the council officers would have to] pay as much attention to me as they would if i was in the conservative or labor parties.
“Someone is going to have an accident on this street or pay a big bill for damage to a vehicle. If anyone were to take this road in a [mobility scooter] and have an accident, then there would be serious problems.
“It is to the advantage of the County Council to go on the road now,” said County Cllr Stansfield.
Laura-Beth Thompson, the Tory candidate for the division, said historic issues with Lancashire’s motorways were being resolved.
“For years, our roads have been abandoned by the County Council, which is not investing at the levels necessary to make the required improvements. Over the past four years this has started to change under Tory control and here in Rossendale our county councilors have worked hard to secure an increased investment every year, reaching over £ 2.6million this year.
“Sadly this is not enough to address all the roads that need it, but I am determined to fight for every road in Rossendale West that needs resurfacing and, if elected, I will work immediately to raise the issues of poor sanitation work on nearby Jonquille. Over the past few weeks I have spoken to a number of residents at Daffodil Close and on behalf of the residents I have already registered it for urgent repair, ”Ms. Thompson said.
Labor candidate Samara Barnes said she walked Daffodil Close with Mr Carter and counted “dozens of potholes of different sizes”.
“Obviously, the current county councilor is presenting himself as an independent, but he has been the conservative [representative] for eight years and has, in fact, been responsible for these roads during that time. Mr. Carter pledges to vote for who can [get his road repaired], but I think Cllr Stansfield County has already demonstrated that it can’t do it – so why would it do it on May 7th [the day after the elections]?
“I work by the ‘deeds, not words’ rule and I have a to-do list that I am determined to do if I am voted on.
“I wrote to [the highways department] after visiting Daffodil Close – because what really struck me is that these more residential roads seem to be forgotten. These people pay housing tax just like everyone else, so they deserve to have their roads [looked after] as much as anywhere else, ”said Barnes.
Potholes have become a hot topic in county council elections, the topic sparking clashes between the main parties during a leaders’ debate ahead of the ballot.
Tory deputy head of the council Keith Iddon said the ruling group was investing record amounts in highways and the government recognized Lancashire as one of the best performing local authorities in road repair.
However, his Labor, Liberal Democrats and Green opponents rounded up on the standard of the work being done to fix the county’s potholes, condemning it, respectively, as “appalling”, “inadequate” and “not good enough”.
Responding to Mr Carter’s comments, a Lancashire County Council spokesperson said: “ We are aware of this area of deterioration of Daffodil Close and will assess it alongside other priorities for inclusion in a future program. of maintenance. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor and make any repairs that may be necessary for safety.
“A resurfacing plan will be needed to repair the damage to Daffodil Close, but we will repair any potholes that appear until it can be scheduled, and each time they visit our repair teams will correct all validated faults that correspond to our level of intervention in the immediate area.
“Improving the A, B and C roads, which are the most vital to our economy, has been at the center of the first phase of our long-term Lancashire road maintenance plan. The current phase of the transportation asset management plan will focus more on the residential sector. roads with the goal of rehabilitating them over the next four to five years. “
LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR ROSSENDALE WEST
Samara Barnes – Labor Party
David Stansfield – Independent
Laura-Beth Thompson – Conservative and Unionist Party